Let me say as I have said before, and will likely say again–will likely need to say again (irrespective of discernible gain): We must be ever watchful, be ever on guard, where human rights are the matter. It is necessary for us, for everyone everywhere– as it has been true for all time: human rights are unalienable rights; human rights are irrevocable; human rights exist transcendent of any law opposed to the free exercise of human rights.
It is important to recall previous essays that I have written on this matter, and in this current manner. There is one over-arching truth that must be maintained in our metaphysical comprehension of our humanity and the rights of that humanity, and it is this: Human Rights are Truth.
A Jew did not cease to have human rights because he was in a concentration camp. An African-American did not become less than human because the law decided to fractionalize him. Remember, repetition is motif, and the motif herein is freedom. I repeat myself often in the matter of our freedom. Now if every person disagreed with these statements, they would remain transcendent and true; they would be of the Truth of Human Rights.
Slavery anywhere does not eliminate the slave’s humanity. In all efforts to dehumanize, we must recognize that the effort is not the effect; the physical effects are not in themselves metaphysical. The crux of this humanity cannot be erased by another’s desire to dehumanize, nor is it invalidated by the brutality or inhumane treatment of any kind imposed by those who stand in opposition to the free exercise of universal human rights. Again, we have to be able to comprehend that universality here is not dependent on the actuality of every person everywhere being able to exercise his or her human rights. What is, is not often Right. There is current a mistaken understanding of Right
Torture, repression, oppression, totalitarian slaughter, gulags, concentration camps bring suffering, misery, unimaginable horror to their victims, but never do they succeed in erasing the metaphysical veracity of the victims’s Human Rights. They do not eliminate the fact that each of these victims has Human Rights even at the moment they are most heinously violated.
Belief is everything in how we act. Humanity needs faith for Her rights to be protected by law. The Nazis spent great energy in their efforts to dehumanize people; there was certainly method in their madness. The mentality was clearly articulated and adhered to by many. In this, the heinous acts against human beings and against the idea of a humane humanity were very effective, almost too easy. But if the Nazis had won the war, if they had succeeded in spreading darkness, Human Rights would still be universal and absolute, transcendent and true. They would cease to be protected; people would lose faith, but their metaphysical veracity would remain in tact.
The problems inherent in a society that no longer has faith for humanity, belief in transcendent values of humane living, of what and where humanity is, is that it reduces freedom to a materialism in its conceptions of Human Rights. I understand the abuses of various transcendental philosophies that give rise to one or another positivism. But, All human-beings are created equal is not a positivist philosophical conclusion.
I understand the practical arguments set up in defense of human rights and against all abuses inherent from one or another political system or a society’s inability to maintain justice; but the practical arguments put forward are mostly directed against any assertion that Human Rights are absolute and transcendent, and that human rights only have veracity where they are respected and upheld. It is thus believed by some that where Human Rights are not protected, they do not exist. And it is this argument that is the largest impediment in protecting Human Rights. To believe this is to act accordingly, to accept accordingly. We must never do so. Human Rights are Universal, Absolute and Transcendent; to believe otherwise is chip away at their veracity in our minds, lessening their effect on our mentality, which in turn has a large degree of governance over our individual psychology. I know that repetition is not in itself argument, but I do hold this truth to be self-evident (upper-case letter values by necessity): Human Rights are eternal; therefore, we, inside the confines of time and space, cannot destroy them.
Women’s Rights are Human rights; thus, the same that is true for Human Rights remains true for Women’s Rights; they are also eternal and they remain so in spite of all cultural traditions that say otherwise. This is not a philosophy of compromise. This is everything when considering how the law effects women, how it has effected women traditionally in the institution of marriage, even in the west; and how this tradition has effected how societies have responded to women, how they have responded to women interpersonally inside the confines of marriage. These traditions have also effected the way expectations of and for women and their roles inside a marriage have ben shaped, the form they take inside this mold of a society’s mentality. Inherent from traditional marriage contracts are the binds that restrict a woman’s personhood, her humanity, reducing this personhood to the status of wife, that is, a female breeder of the male husband, or manager of the breeding.
Only the humane treatment of woman is an acceptable and healthy respect for her human rights, and only a respect for her unalienable personhood, her sole proprietorship over her body and decisions is a humane treatment of her. No marriage contract can revoke her rights. Any agreement in ceremony that mediates her rights and replaces them with privileges is null and void–it is a contract agreed upon under duress.
There is no equivocation on any of these points; how could there be from anyone desiring to live in a free and democratic society, a society of enlightened humanity–yes, enlightened. A woman’s rights–everyone’s rights–exist irrespective of what any law says anywhere to the contrary. We understand that this has been said and said again before–let it then become our mantra.
There is no law above Human Rights–Sharia Law, for instance, does trump the Human Rights of women. I am tired of darkness and ignorance parading as the only viable form of religion or religious attitudes, as if religion itself were only narrow-minded and bigoted. Sharia Law must never be allowed to interfere with the free and unimpeded expression of a woman’s basic human rights. If we do so out of a semi-literate and degraded notion of respect for a culture and its mores, so much the worse for our society. We do not live in a mountain village in Pakistan, or anywhere else in the illiterate rural Muslim world. I am in the United States of America, and I stand for the respect and protection of universal Human Rights–and no Church, no Synagogue, no Mosque, no ignorant semi-literate understanding of the texts in these religions can be allowed to oppose the spread of light.
I am with Lincoln–we are the last best hope for human kind, but only if we accept and carry the responsibility appropriately. To do so means a complete modification of all other mores and systems of belief that interfere with our basic human rights guranteed to all people everywhere, but especially here in the United States of America. In the matter of basic human rights, there are no compromises acceptable.
Human Rights may need laws to ensure we respect them in our practices, but they do not need the law to exist.This is imperative for each of us to understand. Endowed by our creator? If we were to find out that there is no God, Jefferson’s words would not be any the less. But allowing Sharia Law to mediate the Constitution of the United States in the name of respecting diversity would be a giant step backward for women, for all of humanity.